Hustle 4: Peter Hughes

This June saw Peter Hughes join us from Canada to share a few pearls of wisdom, and common challenges from across the pond. It was refreshing to meet a senior business leader with a passion for user experience and a respect for the impact of great design. He told us how these passions have led him to "tell it like it is" on more than one occasion, whilst convincing clients and their incumbent business process to believe in the designer.

The full video of peters talk is available on our Twitter feed via Periscope.

Hustle 4: What's happening...

Hustle is back in June to the backdrop of an incredible week of inspiration and learning. We have managed to grab the head of Deloitte Digital in Toronto, Peter Hughes before he speaks at Digital DNA, to come speak to us at Hustle. Get a read of his profile below, he knows his stuff when it comes to bringing truly great experience to real-world digital products. Grab your ticket now!

About Peter...

Peter leads the Deloitte Digital Studio in Canada. Based in Toronto, Peter has worked and lived in Australia, New Zealand, Chile and the United States. Peter specializes user experience design, responsive web and native mobile app development. Peter has a portfolio of well over 30 websites and mobile apps for some of the biggest brands in grocery, retail banking, insurance and telecom including: Loblaws (Canada, grocery), Cencosud Paris (Chile, Retail), EQ Bank (Canada, Banking), Sonnet (Canada, Online Insurance), Telstra (Australia, Telecom) and TD Bank (Canada, Banking).

In addition to building beautiful digital, Peter spends a lot of time advising executives on how to make their organization a ‘digital first’ culture. His perspectives were recently published in a widely read an acclaimed paper entitled: The Rise of the Chief Digital Officer. In the paper, Peter explores how rapidly evolving digital technologies continue to alter the business landscape with explicit guidance on how to shape a role that stewards digital channels and how that role can complement existing executives, particularly the CIO and CMO.

Hustle 3: The Celtic Connection

Hustle was created to give local designers a wider perspective on what is going on in our industry. Whether that is about what tools are being used, processes adopted, mentality of work, or just how to do great design work.

On our third outing at Hustle, we really checked the boxes. Chris and Duncan both come from very different design houses in Edinburgh, doing very different kinds of work. One, working in-house for a Fantasy Sports company, the other, an agency working across the sectors, but with a charitable focus. 

Founded in Edinburgh with its HQ in New York, Fanduel is slowly taking over the world with it’s unique proposition and digital roots. Hearing Chris’s story was an insight into the learnings of a large in-house design team, constantly looking for ways to improve their processes and deliver a better product for their customers. 

Interestingly, Chris talked a lot about what they had done wrong. And in the spirit of Agile attested to failing often. But this wasn’t the message he was trying to beat on his drum. His message was to avoid failure as much as possible by good preparation and learning from others (such as the Google Ventures team and Spotify). 

But Chris’s main message was about inclusivity, hearing about how Fanduel have started using Design Sprints to solve new problems, and the inclusivity challenge that brings to the table. And whilst they have run a few now and they achieve great results, they are still tinkering with the recipe to really make them inclusive from start to finish.

After a short break and visit to the bar, Duncan gave us a fascinating insight into doing design for good, bringing humour and insight to what could have been a sobering talk. Working at Whitespace in Edinburgh, Duncan confesses he has been fortunate to have worked with some inspiring not-for-profit organisations, and witness first hand the good they are doing in places such as Nairobi. But he also inspired us to think about our own goals, because it was actually by design that he wanted to use his skills to help make a positive impact in the world. Not only was Duncan’s work inspiring too, but the integrity with which Whitespace operates to challenge their charitable clients to help themselves, gave a full picture of what it takes to make that positive change.

Duncan introduced us to Mary's Meals, Republic of (coming soon), Jennifer Daniels argument that design is capitalism, and Mike Monteiro's theory that design is destroying the world. Superbly thought provoking and insanely inspiring.

So a huge thanks to Chris and Duncan for skipping across the Irish sea to fill us up with shared knowledge and inspiration by the haggis-full. (Had to have some Scottish reference). The feedback from everyone has been incredible and we hope to see them back on the Hustle stage in the future.


Added speaker: Richard Weston - Interpretative Design

Joining us at Hustle on 14th December is Richard Weston, who will be speaking about Interpretative Design, a decades old design discipline that is embracing digital design and technology to tell even more immersive stories. Richard is a local, cross-discipline designer with a wealth of experience, but recently been honing his craft in interpretative design.

Richard can be found and followed on Twitter as @Acejet170.

Hustle 1: Up and running

Thank you so much to all who made it to Hustle 1 on Monday night. It was so incredible that so many people came along, and it just prove that there is a desire for something like Hustle in Northern Ireland, so thank you! If you didn't make it along, here's what went down...


So Monday night kicked off with a welcome from yours truly. I hope I was able to make the point clear that Hustle is about all of us, and I need your help in making it better, bigger, more relevant and valuable. So once again if you do have anything you want to share, whether its a new idea, an invaluable learning experience or a whole thought piece, I'd love to hear from you. And that goes for anyone who wasn't there, please get in touch.


We then had Chris Armstrong from Niice give our keynote talk about his experience of following that dream to build an app and make it your business. Chris's honest talk didn't sugar coat the world of building a business out of an app and talked about the challenges he has had to overcome to make it into a viable one. But it was hugely insightful, learning about fighting churn (losing users basically) and having to be pragmatic in how you choose which feature to build next. Chris also give an interesting commentary on the real experience of being featured on the likes of The Next Web, Tech Crunch, and hitting the front page of the App Store and Product Hunt. In summary it helps, but it's not a sure thing.

Learn & Share

In our Learn & Share segment, Lee Reilly, a UX designer at Deloitte Digital give us his review of the newest prototyping tool on the block, Principle.

Lee gave us an overview of the marketplace by comparing pro's and con's of the tool against the likes of Adobe Edge Animate, Flinto and Pixate, and even touching on Adobe's Project Comet which has just been announced at their MAX conference.

Lee went on to give us both a basic and intermediate tutorial of some features in Principle, demonstrating the speed and ease of use, as well as the familiar interface for any Sketch users.

Lee concluded that for any iOS prototyping, Principle is coming out on top, but lacks the Android offering of Pixate. 


We wrapped up the evening with a News segment that covered 4 notable features...

HBR Design Thinking comes of age
• If you find yourself having to convince somebody that design is important this arms you with the right information
• It’s written for CEO’s to get them thinking about placing design at the centre of your business
• Not just a prediction of the future but a commentary on what large organisations are doing right now

Design Disrupters
• Same topic, but focussing on Tech companies
• How design is the competitive advantage
• AirBnb
• Google
• Pinterest
• Invision…

A year using Sketch - An Honest review
• Sagi Shrieber
• Isreali at Similarweb/Pixel Perfect magazine
• Spoiler alert - No turning back
• Sketch simply the better tool for UI design
• Excited by the plug-in potential

Adobe Project Comet
• The new 'light-weight' prototyping tool announced at Adobe MAX this week.

Special thanks to Jason Karayiannis for taking our awesome photographs.

Hustle 2

If you didn't make it to Hustle this time, the next event will be on December 14th in the main Black Box hall. Tickets will be available soon.



Added speaker: Lee Reilly - Learning Principle

Adding to our line up for October's Hustle, we have Lee Reilly from Deloitte Digital telling us about his experience of picking up and learning Principle for Mac.

About Principle

If you haven't heard about Principle, this new prototyping tool could revolutionise how you mock up your App ideas. Using a similar interface to Sketch and a timeline UI that will remind you of After-effects, Principle holds a lot of promise of becoming the industry-standard App UX tool.

In this talk Lee will talk about his experience of using the app and the learning curve associated with it. 

About Lee

Lee is UX lead at Deloitte Digital in Belfast and has more years than he'd like me to disclose of working on digital products and websites big and small. 

Our manifesto

HUSTLE is about sharing thoughts and ideas for designing user interfaces for digital products. It’s about growing the greater knowledge and challenging preconceptions. It’s about analysing current trends and bringing them to light for the community to make their own decisions.

The business world teaches us to learn the tricks of the trade, and use them to beat the competition and self-prosper. But as web professionals, we have learnt first hand the consequences of proprietary thinking. It leads to non-compatible frameworks and limitations on our ideas. We know that if we do not build a connected, opensource web, the web will never grow to it’s potential.

The same exists for us, the architects of tomorrows web. If our processes, tools, methods and objectives are not derivative of a common thread of thought, we will only continue to grow in separate directions. Our knowledge, and the knowledge we share with our understudies, will be disjointed and inconsistent.

Why Belfast?
Well, for a start it’s where we live. But more importantly, we believe we have the perfect storm in Northern Ireland. We are small enough to have a strong community of creatives working at the cutting edge of design and technology. Add to this excellent IT infrastructure, world-class education, global companies laying their roots due to our proximity to the UK, Europe and the world.

Besides all that however we believe that we have an awesome creative culture. We are fearless. We have nothing to lose and everything to prove. We already have the attention of the rest of the world through fantastic Northern Irish conferences such as Build and BreakConf. 

Why now?
Creative and UX as a profession has gathered enormous momentum. It only takes a few minutes on LinkedIn to see that creatives are in higher demand than ever before. With so much demand, we are at risk of seeing ill-prepared designers entering into roles, and letting us down as a body of professionals. Whether it’s learning to work in a process driven environment, or in a company where design and creative are nowhere to be seen in their mission statement. It’s tough out there, and we need to help each other, in order to save ourselves.

What to talk about?
Digital. That’s a pretty big list, but we don’t want to be held to a definitive list right now. However, we do want there to be a maturity to our talks, this is not web design 101, but an invitation to creative professionals who know the parlance of business and the challenges and solutions that come with it. We want to tap into and explore those solutions.

Target audience?
We’re aiming this primarily:
• Web/UI designers
• UX consultants

But also for curious…
• Web developers and digital makers
• Print and brand designers
• Video makers
• Animators
• Illustrators
• Game designers
• Creative project managers


We hope you will join us in this mission and help make our profession stronger, so we can exist as better professionals within it.